#3: The Three Interviews

I have not selected a topic yet, so I will be interviewing three people in my life about local issues that are important to them. Their ideas might guide me towards a topic.


Questions to ask important people in my life

#1: What local issue would you change if you had the time and resources?
#2: Why would you change that issue? Why is acting upon this issue important?
#3: How would you change that issue?



Subject #1: Situated on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Question #1

She felt that the issue of affordable housing was a serious concern, and needed to be addressed.  

Question #2

She said that the reason she would change the issue of affordable housing was because some people who want to work on the island are not able to afford living there.

Question #3

She thought that raising community consciousness, working on community action work, panel discussion, community forums, providing money through the town, and perhaps building apartment complexes were good ways to confront the issue.

Subject #2: Situated in Groton Long Point, Connecticut

Question #1

She said an important local issue was homelessness, hunger, and poverty.

Question #2

She thinks this issue is important because it affects education. Students whose families are impoverished don’t have energy at the beginning of the week in school because they don’t get enough food on the weekend.

Question #3

She feels that one viable solution could be that when students have overdue books from their school library, instead of being fined they would be required to donate a food item to a family in need. Another solution she suggested was to send students who don’t get enough food on the weekend a care package on Fridays. She also thought that schools could develop a food pantry to serve impoverished families.

Subject #3: Situated in Milton, Massachusetts

Question #1

He thinks that an important local issue is the opportunities for every student to get a good education.

Question #2

He said that as a parent and educator, he knows that opportunities for every student are important.

Question #3

He said that a way to make this change would be by making sure that all schools have the same quality, teachers, and money. In addition, excellent teachers for every school and support from city government would benefit all students.


Lawton, Ann Fay. Personal interview. 24 Sept. 2016.

Burrows, Linda. Personal interview. 25 Sept. 2016.

Stumacher, Adam. Personal interview. 25 Sept. 2016.


Featured image courtesy of SparkCBC.

Zachariah Burrows

3 Responses to “#3: The Three Interviews

  • Hey Zachariah,
    I’m Bryce, and I’m in your reading group. I think that it’s good that you don’t have a topic yet because you get to explore more subjects, so you have a broader range of choices. I think that any of those issues that your interviewees mentioned would be great topics to pick. Not to sound like a broken record, but suggestion: pick the one that you feel strongly about or the one that calls to you. It’s hard to work on something you don’t care for. I know the feeling.


  • Hey Zachariah, I think it was smart to ask people about issues they thought needed to be addressed, so you can pick a topic that’s important to the community. Despite the fact that none of the interviewees were located in Vermont, all of the problems they named are also problems in Vermont that we should be addressing. I liked the way you organized your post, so it’s easy to read, understand, and compare the topics. Your categories really outlined these issues accurately so you have a pretty good idea of what each project would entail.

    I think that you could do some really good work with the second subject, and help the community really well in that regard. I also think that your last option is not only incredibly important, but lends itself well to research and change, as long as you define it more clearly (e.g. how is there inequality in educational opportunities, and what it means to get a good education). The first issue is also important, applicable and could make for a really nice project.

    You’re in a really good place in terms of options, it seems. No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong, so just try and pick which one you’re most enthusiastic about, as Bryce said. This looks like a really solid start!

  • Hey Zachariah, I hope you are well. I know that you have written about Bees and pollinators before and I just heard from Courtney Krahn that you are still interested in that as a possibility.

    Here is a link to a video documentary that students of mine made last year. They ended up winning a couple of award from the film and it was shown on our local TV channel (Middlebury Community Television) and it was shown on Vermont PBS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK6n4XyJCzM.

    Also, I know an emergency room doctor in town named Mike Kiernan, who has just launched a project: Bee the Change. Here’s a video he just produced about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4i1sun_PYc. Also, here’s an article that ran in the Addison Independent recently about it: http://www.addisonindependent.com/201609bright-idea-kiernan-pairs-solar-arrays-and-bees

    These might give you some food for thought as you think more about ideas. I’d be happy to arrange for you to have a conversation with either the students who made the film or Mike Kiernan.

    Let me know if you’re interested to connect to them.


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